22 Jan 2024 16:27

Polish PM discussing conflicts of interests in Kiev - media

WARSAW. Jan 22 (Interfax) - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and senior Ukrainian officials are discussing difficulties in relations between the two countries in Kiev on Monday.

"We will have to discuss a large number of bilateral issues. There are conflicts of interests, and we are well aware of that. We will discuss them in a way that will allow us to resolve them as quickly as possible rather than keep or multiply them," Tusk told Polish Radio.

According to Bloomberg, Tusk's visit aimed to repair Warsaw-Kiev relations after the previous government's restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports. However, the Polish prime minister has not yet pledged to lift the ban, it said.

As reported, duty-free trade between Ukraine and the European Union enacted in 2022 (and valid until June 2024) and the refocusing of a substantial part of Ukrainian agricultural exports on Europe led to the accumulation of cheap Ukrainian food in the neighboring countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. The situation caused protests of local farmers.

Under the pressure of the Ukrainian neighbors, the European Commission had to take certain measures and banned Ukrainian grain imports (specifically, wheat, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and corn) by the said countries in May 2023. After the ban was lifted on September 15, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland acted against the European Commission's will and imposed national bans on Ukrainian imports. Poland expanded the list of prohibited goods with rapeseed cake and meal, as well as corn bran, wheat flour and derivative products. Hungary expanded the list to 24 goods.

Kiev filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO hearings have been suspended for talks involving the European Commission.